37 Fun Things to Do in Fort Collins, Colorado

Updated 14 min read

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An aerial view over a city with buildings and greenery next to a mountain
Fort Collins is an exciting city to explore, with numerous attractions

Colorado has many incredible cities, like Fort Collins in the north of the state. Visitors will find many cool attractions to check out during a trip. Some fun things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado, include getting pizza at the quirky Totally 80s Pizza Museum and seeing beautiful gardens at the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden.

Other places to visit include museums, art galleries, and high-end bars and restaurants. You can also travel to nearby destinations, like Denver or Rocky Mountain National Park. Want to learn more about all the great attractions in Fort Collins? Then keep reading for 37 unique activity ideas!

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  • 37 Fort Collins things to do

37 Fun Things to Do in Fort Collins, CO

  1. Fort Collins, CO, Things to Do
    1. Head to the pool at City Park
    2. Hear spooky stories on a Fort Collins ghost tour
    3. Enjoy a beer at Equinox Brewing
    4. Taste delicious dishes on a Fort Collins food tour
    5. Grab some drinks at Odell Brewing Company
    6. Watch a movie at the Holiday Twin Drive-In Theatre
    7. Treat yourself at the Little Bird Bakeshop
    8. Hang out at New Belgium Brewing Company
    9. Stroll around the Gardens on Spring Creek
    10. Admire the floral displays at the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden
    11. Challenge yourself to an escape game at Time Emporium
    12. Learn new things at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
    13. Spot wildlife at Riverbend Ponds Natural Area
    14. Tour the 1879 Avery House
    15. Eat breakfast at Rainbow Restaurant
    16. View artworks at the Global Village Museum of Arts
    17. Travel back in time at the Totally 80s Pizza Museum
    18. Explore Old Town Fort Collins
    19. Take your kids to Fort Fun
    20. Check out Lee Martinez Community Park
    21. Appreciate photographs at the Center for Fine Art Photography
    22. Relax at Sanctuary Healing Spa
    23. Get dessert at Walrus Ice Cream
    24. Buy sweet treats at Nuance Chocolate
    25. Listen to local musicians at Magic Rat Live Music
    26. Dine at The Emporium
    27. Sip cocktails at Social
    28. Spend the evening at Union Bar & Soda Fountain
  2. Things to Do Near Fort Collins, Colorado
    1. Go on a tour around the Cache La Poudre Canyon
    2. Bike or hike in Lory State Park
    3. Unwind at Drala Mountain Center
    4. Hike around Horsetooth Mountain Open Space
    5. Plan a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park
    6. Experience white water rafting
    7. Follow the Emmaline Lake Trail
    8. Explore Coyote Ridge Natural Area
    9. Plan a trip to Denver

Show all

Fort Collins Things to Do Map

A map of Fort Collins. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

Fort Collins, CO, Things to Do

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A green and red frog sculpture next to trees and a lake on a bright day
You can see the famous frog statues, swim, and more at City Park

Head to the pool at City Park

Going to City Park is one of the best Fort Collins activities to enjoy on a warm day. The park features a pool that's open during the summer. At the pool, you can swim, and there are amenities like water slides, a water play area for kids, and a lazy river.

In addition, the park features trails and picnic areas, and there's lots of wildlife to see, like squirrels and geese. You can also look for the famous frog statues that are dotted around the park. Do note that admission is charged to enter the pool, and season passes are offered if you plan to visit frequently.

Hear spooky stories on a Fort Collins ghost tour

Taking a Fort Collins ghost tour is a memorable and fun evening activity. Your guide will take you to haunted spots in the city's Old Town and you'll get to hear gruesome tales and stories about paranormal activity and ghost sightings. You'll even get to explore an eerie underground area!

Enjoy a beer at Equinox Brewing

Fort Collins has many excellent breweries, like Equinox Brewing. At the brewery, you can taste a range of craft beers in the taproom or on an outdoor patio in the summer. The brewery also hosts fun events, like live music acts.

Taste delicious dishes on a Fort Collins food tour

With so many outstanding eateries in Fort Collins, it can be difficult to decide which to try. If you're a foodie and want to find the city's best spots, then one of the best things to do in Fort Collins, CO, is joining a local food tour.

Participating in a Fort Collins food tour allows you to discover some hidden gems and try a range of unique dishes. During the three-hour tour, your guide will take you to five eateries. Dishes available vary but may include pizza, donuts, and burgers.

Grab some drinks at Odell Brewing Company

Another great brewery in Fort Collins is Odell Brewing Company. Visitors to the Fort Collins brewhouse can taste a range of craft beer, with hard lemonade also available. You can enjoy your drinks on a dog-friendly patio, and beer flights are available if you can't decide on one brew to try. Food trucks and live music acts are frequently on-site as well.

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An aerial view of an outdoor drive-in movie theater at sunset
Watching movies at the Holiday Twin Drive-In Theatre is a fun idea for all ages

Watch a movie at the Holiday Twin Drive-In Theatre

If you're looking for a more laid-back activity, one of the best things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado, is watching a movie at the Holiday Twin Drive-In Theatre. At the outdoor theater, you can see many genres of film, with numerous classics shown throughout the venue's season.

There are also snack outlets selling popcorn, candy, slushies, and more! Do note that the drive-in theater is seasonal and is generally in operation from June to October.

Treat yourself at the Little Bird Bakeshop

Those with a sweet tooth will definitely want to check out Little Bird Bakeshop located in Old Town Square. Baked goods on the menu include various types of croissants, caramel swirl brownies, and brioche cinnamon buns.

Breakfast and light lunch dishes are on offer as well, like maple spiced almond butter toast and soup with freshly baked sourdough bread. You can enjoy drinks with your food, including coffee beverages like iced caramel lattes, iced tea, and lavender lemonade.

Hang out at New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company is another brewery to add to your must-visit list in Fort Collins. Beers on tap range from ales and stouts to fruit beers and IPAs, and you can taste a few brews by ordering a beer flight. You can also order hard seltzer and non-alcoholic options are on offer.

Visitors can enjoy drinks in the tap room or hang out on the patio, which is dog-friendly for those visiting with their pups. Food trucks are often on-site as well, and you can bring your own food in too.

Stroll around the Gardens on Spring Creek

The Gardens on Spring Creek are another of the botanical gardens to wander around in the Fort Collins area. The 18-acre garden features many plants and flowers, from cacti and perennials to vegetables and herbs.

You'll also see ponds and water features, and there's a children's garden for little ones to explore. In addition, you can visit a butterfly house at the Gardens on Spring Creek, which has around 600 butterfly and moth species, including Monarch butterflies.

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A sign that says "Annual Flower Trial Garden" with colorful flowers in the background
You can see an array of vibrant blooms at the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden

Admire the floral displays at the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden

The CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden is managed by Colorado State University and features stunning seasonal flower displays, with flowers generally in bloom between May and October.

As you wander around, you'll get to see an array of beautiful and colorful flowers as well as other plants. Best of all, admission is free, so everyone can enjoy the gardens, no matter your activity budget.

Challenge yourself to an escape game at Time Emporium

Whether you're wondering what to do in Fort Collins, CO, with friends or a date, tackling an escape game at Time Emporium has to be on your activity list! Visitors can choose from different themed games, including a vampire escape room and a murder mystery.

You'll have 30 minutes to escape whichever room you choose by solving puzzles. Once your game is complete, you can relax with cocktails and bar snacks in the Looking Glass Lounge.

Learn new things at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The Fort Collins Discovery Museum is the ideal place to visit with family. The museum has exhibits on science, natural history, and culture, including hands-on exhibits for all ages. Just a few of the topics to learn about include animals and their habitats, dinosaurs and paleontology, and the harnessing of energy. There are also some areas for young children with train tables, art tables, and more.

Spot wildlife at Riverbend Ponds Natural Area

Riverbend Ponds Natural Area features trails that take you through wetlands and past old gravel mine ponds. As you walk around the park, you'll be able to spot many animal species, including an array of birds like American white pelicans and green herons. Visitors can kayak or canoe on the waterways as well.

One of the fun things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado, is touring Avery House
Touring Avery House is one of many fun things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado

Tour the 1879 Avery House

The Avery House was constructed in 1879 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, making it a notable landmark in Fort Collins. The home is open for tours on the weekend. During a visit, you'll be able to look around the home which is decorated with 19th-century furniture. You can also learn more about the history of the property and its owners.

Eat breakfast at Rainbow Restaurant

The bright and friendly Rainbow Restaurant is the ideal place to start your day in Fort Collins! Things to order range from breakfast burritos and omelets to sweets like French toast or granola with fruit and yogurt. The eatery is generally open from 8 AM to 2 PM, making it ideal for both an early breakfast or a later brunch.

View artworks at the Global Village Museum of Arts

One of the best cultural attractions in the city is the Global Village Museum of Arts. Located in Downtown Fort Collins, the museum features folk art from all over the world. Pieces to see range from paintings to wood sculptures and pottery.

You can also learn a little more about the cultures relating to each artwork. If you're wondering what to do in Fort Collins, Colorado, and love art, a trip to the Global Village Museum of Arts has to be on your to-do list!

Travel back in time at the Totally 80s Pizza Museum

The Totally 80s Pizza Museum is one of the most fun and quirky attractions in Fort Collins. The pizza parlor features memorabilia from the 1980s that's displayed within a retro diner-style interior.

Menu items include pizzas with traditional toppings, as well as more unique options like a pizza with Fritos or Flamin' Hot Cheetos as part of the topping. Other things to order include garlic knots and salads, and beer, wine, and soda are also available.

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A white hotel building with a Starbucks on the ground floor next to cars on a street
You'll discover many things to do when exploring Old Town Fort Collins

Explore Old Town Fort Collins

Old Town Fort Collins is one of the most popular areas to explore in the city. The neighborhood features buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries that today house shops, restaurants, bars, and other businesses, like art galleries.

Whether you want to check out independent boutiques, pick up a specialty coffee, or enjoy a meal and cocktails in the evening, you'll find many things to do in Old Town Fort Collins!

Take your kids to Fort Fun

Fort Fun is a popular kid-friendly attraction in the area. The amusement center has mini-golf, go-karts, laser tag, an arcade, swan paddle boats, and much more. After enjoying all the activities, you can grab snacks like pizza, soft pretzels, and nachos. An escape room venue is also located on-site.

Check out Lee Martinez Community Park

If you want to enjoy the fresh air, Lee Martinez Community Park is one of the Fort Collins attractions you'll want to check out. The park has scenic trails and grassy areas to hang out on. Those visiting with kids will also be pleased to hear that the park has a playground and a barnyard area.

Appreciate photographs at the Center for Fine Art Photography

The Center for Fine Art Photography is a must-visit attraction for art lovers. Founded in 2004, the museum features rotating exhibits showcasing stunning photography by local, national, and international artists. You can also attend events at the center, like photography classes and talks with artists.

Relax at Sanctuary Healing Spa

Sanctuary Healing Spa is the ideal place to relax and unwind after a busy day or week. Treatments on offer include facials, massages, and foot soaks. You can also choose a variety of packages, including a quick 45-minute facial cleanse, exfoliation, and mask or a longer 90-minute session with massage, facial, and other body treatments.

Get dessert at Walrus Ice Cream

Dessert lovers won't want to miss out on visiting Walrus Ice Cream. At the ice cream shop, you can order sweets like ice cream cones and sundaes. The menu features an extensive range of flavors, from chocolate orange to lavender honey or butter pecan. Walrus Ice Cream also has dog ice cream for your pup to enjoy!

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A brick shop with a sign that says "Nuance Chocolate" next to other shops
Nuance Chocolate sells a variety of delicious handmade chocolates

Buy sweet treats at Nuance Chocolate

Nuance Chocolate is one of the best places to visit in Fort Collins, Colorado, for those that enjoy sweets and desserts. You can also pick up some unique gifts while visiting.

The local chocolate shop sells a variety of sweets, including milk, dark, and white chocolate bars and bars infused with spirits like cherry whiskey. You can also get decadent truffles and cocoa nibs, among many other treats.

Listen to local musicians at Magic Rat Live Music

Magic Rat Live Music is a trendy music venue located within the Elizabeth Hotel. You can see many genres of artists perform here, and there's a cozy outdoor patio with fire pits to relax on as you listen. Cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as bar snacks, are also available.

Dine at The Emporium

Another great spot located within the Elizabeth Hotel is The Emporium. This American brasserie serves contemporary dishes like vegetable gnocchi, chicken with sweet potato hash, and salmon with beet puree. When dining, you can also order wine or delicious signature cocktails. The Emporium is open for brunch on the weekends if you can't make it for dinner.

Sip cocktails at Social

Those looking for a stylish place to hang out with some drinks in the evening should plan a trip to Social. The sophisticated speakeasy-style cocktail bar serves classic and signature cocktails, including many 1920s-inspired beverages. Sharing cocktails are also available, as are bar snacks and sharing dishes, including charcuterie boards.

Spend the evening at Union Bar & Soda Fountain

Union Bar & Soda Fountain is a laid-back spot to visit for some evening drinks. Visitors can sit inside or relax on the outdoor patio. Menu options include creative cocktails that will look great on your Instagram feed, as well as wine and beer. You can also get floats from an old-fashioned soda fountain, and food is available to accompany your beverages.

Things to Do Near Fort Collins, Colorado

A view over a tree-covered canyon with a fast-flowing river running through it
Hiking around Cache La Poudre Canyon allows you to enjoy stunning views

Go on a tour around the Cache La Poudre Canyon

Cache La Poudre Canyon is another must-visit outdoor attraction near Fort Collins. The area got its name due to French-Canadian fur trappers hiding gunpowder in the area in the 1800s. Visitors today can hike and enjoy views of Cache La Poudre River.

While you can visit the park without a guide, taking a Cache La Poudre Canyon tour from Fort Collins is highly recommended! Your guide will take you along the most scenic routes and offer more information on the history and ecology of the area.

A cyclist in a grassy area with greenery-covered hills in front of them
Outdoor activity enthusiasts won't want to miss biking in Lory State Park

Bike or hike in Lory State Park

Colorado is known for its many outdoor attractions, and another of the fantastic parks to explore when in the Fort Collins area is Lory State Park. The park can be reached in around 20 minutes when driving from Fort Collins and sits next to Horsetooth Mountain & Reservoir.

Activities to enjoy include mountain biking, hiking, and backcountry camping. Other things to do in the area range from kayaking and canoeing to rock climbing.

Unwind at Drala Mountain Center

Also known as Shambhala Mountain Center, Drala Mountain Center is located in Red Lakes, approximately one hour from Fort Collins. Founded in 1971, the center focuses on meditation, yoga, and spirituality.

Yoga and meditation retreats are available at the Drala Mountain Center, which allow you to participate in wellness classes and yoga sessions while surrounded by nature. Art and creativity classes are also hosted that teach writing, drawing, painting, and more.

A rock and greenery in the foreground next to a reservoir and greenery-covered hills
Horsetooth Reservoir is one of many beautiful outdoor attractions near Fort Collins

Hike around Horsetooth Mountain Open Space

Situated about 20 minutes from Fort Collins when driving, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, or Horsetooth Mountain & Reservoir, is a great place to spend the day outdoors. At the park, you can hike or bike various trails that will take you through woodlands and past lakes, offering amazing views of the mountainous scenery. Visitors can also go boating, and camping spots are available if you want to stay overnight.

A lake with rocks next to snow-covered mountains and alpine trees on a clear day
Rocky Mountain National Park has glacial lakes, snowy mountains, and scenic trails

Plan a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a well-known outdoor attraction that's located just over an hour from Fort Collins. An interesting Colorado fact relating to the park is that it receives over four million visitors every year! If you decide to be one of those visitors, you'll get to enjoy an array of activities.

At the park, you can hike trails, drive along scenic routes, and spot lots of plant and animal life. Another thing to do is going on a sunrise tour of Rocky Mountain National Park, which will allow you to take in the park's stunning scenery under a pretty pink and orange sky.

A glacial river flowing between rocky mountains under a blue sky with some cloud
Cache La Poudre River is a unique place to go white water rafting

Experience white water rafting

Adventure activity enthusiasts will be interested to learn that you can go white water rafting near Fort Collins with Mountain Whitewater. The activity takes place on the Cache La Poudre River, and there is an option for most ages and rafting experience levels. No matter which type of session you choose, you'll have a memorable time tackling rapids along the fast-moving river!

Follow the Emmaline Lake Trail

Another of the excellent outdoor attractions near Fort Collins is the Emmaline Lake Trail. You can reach the attraction in around an hour and a half when driving from Fort Collins. Along the trail, you'll get to admire mountainous views and marvel at the pretty Emmaline Lake. Do note that it takes around six hours to complete this 13-mile trail; however, you can hike part of the trail and turn back.

A hiker standing on a boulder surrounded by snow and mountains
Coyote Ridge Natural Area is a breathtaking place to explore in all seasons

Explore Coyote Ridge Natural Area

Exploring Coyote Ridge Natural Area is another of the things to do near Fort Collins, CO, that allows you to admire the state's beautiful outdoor areas. Located around 20 minutes from central Fort Collins, the attraction features mountain views, hiking trails, and lots of wildlife. Animals you may see during your visit to the park include prairie dogs, mule deer, and numerous species of birds.

A city skyline with green and red trees and grass in front of it on a clear day
Denver is around an hour from Fort Collins, making it a great day-trip destination

Plan a trip to Denver

Denver is one of the most well-known cities in the western United States. As the city is only about an hour from Fort Collins, depending on traffic, visiting for a day or overnight trip is an excellent idea!

Activities in Denver range from visiting Colorado landmarks to watching a Colorado Avalanche NHL game at Ball Arena or exploring art museums. Other things to add to your Denver itinerary include skating at the Downtown Denver Rink and unwinding at the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa.

In Conclusion

Fort Collins is an exciting destination to explore, with attractions for everyone. Whether you enjoy hiking in stunning outdoor areas, relaxing with drinks at stylish bars, visiting museums and galleries, or anything in between, you'll find lots to do in and around Fort Collins!

This article was first published on Nov 14, 2022 12:00 UTC.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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